Phillip Ransom thought he had trouble Thursday night when his old van broke down on the side of the road, booming out backfires.
But that was when his troubles really began.
Two Kansas City police officers, mistaking the van's backfires for gunshots, began firing at it.
It was a terrifying moment for the Kansas City man, who was unarmed and said he did not own a gun.
"I'm just an ordinary guy," he said. "I go to work every day."
Fortunately he was not hit. At least three bullets hit the van. Ransom said he did not know how many shots were fired.
"I wasn't counting," he said. "But it sounded like a lot."
A department spokesman confirmed that Ransom was unarmed and said the officers have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
The incident occurred just before 6 p.m. Thursday on Gregory Boulevard near Interstate 435. Ransom, who owns a janitorial service, said he was on his way home from work.
But his van didn't make it, breaking down just a block from his home.
About the same time, someone called police and reported shots being fired.
Ransom learned later that a neighbor of his was the one who made the call after mistaking the sound of backfiring for gunfire.
The neighbor Friday was apologetic, but Ransom told him he would have done the same thing.
"We're supposed to look out for each other," he said. "It's what we're supposed to do."
But Thursday night, Ransom, concerned that the vehicle might catch fire, stepped out of the van about the time the two officers arrived to investigate and began firing.
Ransom could only stand with his hands in the air and yell that he was not shooting.
"I guess they couldn't hear me," Ransom said Friday.
Read more of this story at KansasCity.com